Lazuli (L)

Lazuli, with Tim Clutton-Brock (2012)

Lazuli, with Tim Clutton-Brock (2012)

‘Lazuli’ was the second of the famous Avatar sisters (the others being Ziziphus, Igraine and Morgause), who founded the Lazuli group together with Belgarion, a wild male of unknown origin, in 1995. However, soon after the group formed Ziziphus took the role of the Lazuli dominant female. Her daughter Grumpy was dominant in Moomins, her granddaughter Aretha headed Lazuli, and her grandson Osprey led Drie Doring until his death.

Lazuli was without a non-natal dominant male for more than two years, after Basil and later Cazanna died of TB. Lazuli were for almost three years led by brother and sister, J. Alfred Prufrock and Aretha, but the Lazuli females were well frequented by roving visitors… Aretha died after a predator attack, and Young, the oldest and strongest female, took over dominance. The Lazuli males were replaced by a group of Whiskers males. Wollow seized male dominance. After a snake bite, Wollow was deposed by Rufus as dominant male but Wollow initially remained in the group. After dominance squabbles in 2011 Rufus settled as the dominant male. The group grew steadily due to Young’s prolific births but also due to the fact that subordinate females occasionally managed to bring a litter through; furthermore the group remained free of TB for several years. The drought of 2013 brought a major change: it took Young, and all pups. Christiana followed her as the Lazuli dominant female. Soon after Rufus was lost, probably predated by a martial eagle. Six males then emigrated to Zulus, making room for Baobab male Bumpy, who was soon ousted by three wild males. Their habituation level improved at high speed, so that the group was soon back to full habituation. Jazzy Jeff initially won male dominance, yet he was dethroned by LL Cool J in 2015. In early 2014, three females emigrated to form the Nematoads group. Sadly, Christiana died soon after, heavily pregnant, so JubJub Bird is now the dominant female. It was not only her though who intended to lead this small group back to their former glory, as she hasn’t been overly prolific; several successful litters are from subordinate female Alan Johnsons Beamer.

The Lazuli live in the center of the reserve, north of the Kuruman riverbed in the Elveera flats.

They are available as a Friends group.

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